Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Toilet Humor and Genius

October/November 1960

The Beatles are playing long stints every night at the Kaiserkeller and to keep up the killing pace resort to German diet pills.  With the trade name of Prelludin and the street name of Prellies, they were an over-the-counter amphetamine.  The boys noticed that when they took them they could stay sharp for the long hours of the night and as a side benefit would feel more upbeat, lending more "mach shau" to their performances.

Another side effect might have been the increasingly erratic behavior exhibited especially by their ring leader, John Lennon.  Of course, at this late date it is very difficult to separate fact from legend, but there certainly is lots of legend to be found here.  There is a pretty well substantiated story that John once appeared on the Kaiserkeller stage in his underwear with a toilet seat hanging around his neck!  There are also stories of him urinating out of second story windows on unsuspecting passers-by below.

Many people remember that during these years, John would do anything for a laugh, even when the butt of his antics might view the perpetrator as having a particularly cruel streak. Almost everyone who knew him agrees, John Lennon was not an easy person to be around.  What is that mysterious relationship between the cruel young lout and the miraculous songwriter he was becoming?  No doubt it has much to do with the undeniable need to break the rules, whether of society or of art.

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